Kitchen Gardens

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Designing your garden

Our school and local community can produce foods in a ‘kitchen garden’.  These foods can have a lower environmental impact than foods transported over long distances, or stored for long periods of time or foods available out of season.
But what do you need to know and change in your school to grow your own food?

Old water tanks that are cut down in height have been used to make 5 large circular gardens.  Flexible black tubes create an arch over each garden to support a net to keep the birds out.

Old water tanks can make great circular garden beds. Photo courtesy of Barooga Public School

Exploring kitchen gardens

  • What is good about having a kitchen garden?
  • How is it that growing your own food can be a more sustainable way of living?
  • How and where will we find out more about healthy eating and nutrition?
  • What do I need to know about growing plants?
  • What do we need to know about which local, Australian and international foods I can grow in my garden?

Can we grow food in our school?

  • Where in our school is there enough space, soil, sunlight and water for a kitchen garden?
  • What plants can we grow in this climate? What grows in which season?
  • Who can help us manage a kitchen garden in our school?
  • What might be some of the problems in having a kitchen garden in the school?
  • Is there a safe and secure location for our equipment that teachers and students can use?
  • Do we have to follow specific food safety guidelines?

Investigating concepts and ideas relating to kitchen gardens

  • What else do we need to know about kitchen gardens?
  • What further investigations do we need to undertake?

Generating ideas and exploring options

  • Are there kitchen gardens in other schools? What are they like? See Managing your garden and School stories.
  • Do other schools prepare and eat the food they grow? If so what are the facilities like?

Learn more

  • Design tips on designing your kitchen garden from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
  • Gardens for Learning: Designing your Garden
    This resource provides advice on the investigation and planning. Your class could analyse the features of the site you want to use for your garden (p42), think about all of the individual items you need to plan for (p44) and then each person could draw a proposed plan of your garden (p45).
  • Weigh up your lunch
    Rate the nutrition of your lunch!
  • The Healthy plate
    This poster describes a healthy diet. Record the foods you eat.
  • Healthy Kids lunchbox video
    Check out this healthy kids lunchbox rap video. Add your own words for your lunch, but what’s a ‘litter free’ lunch box?
  • Hamstead Hill School (USA) Plan your grand garden design but start small and link to your learning. (Note: YouTube – teachers access required.)
  • New Lynn Primary School (New Zealand) Watch a whole community working on their kitchen garden. (Note: YouTube – teachers access required.)